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National's Leaked Papers - Scoop Blog Watch

National's Leaked Papers - Scoop Blog Watch

Keep Left

The Sunday papers are full of talk about the role that the holy trinity of the far right, Douglas, Richardson, the Business Round Table in the persona of Roger Kerr, played in helping Mr Burns into the top job for the Nats. Now, there is all manner of intrigue in this saga, not least of which is just who in the Tory machine decided to release these little gems.

It speaks of a degree of disunity in the ranks that has been largely papered over since Nick Smith had one V too many late last year. Is it a power play to shunt the right of the Caucus out once the election is lost? Just a vengeful person with a lucky find on a hard drive somewhere? Oh, the intrigue.

More at -


David Farrar

Own goal!

The SST has some leaked emails which show some ACT and BRT figures were giving advice to Don Brash on how to mount his leadership coup. There is a massive irony is all this, as the rise of Don Brash has been seen as the biggest factor in the collapse of support for ACT. Ouch. Also the actual policy positions of National under Brash have been more towards the middle - almost no state assets sold, no housing NZ market rents, keeping the 39% tax rate etc.


Comments on this post on Kiwiblog

Mr Russell Brown (of Public Address, Listener magazine and Media Watch) suggests the most interesting part of the story is that the leak (evidently) came from within the National Party

Isn't the more interesting part of the story that it's an internal National Party leak?
Posted by Russell Brown at August 28, 2005 10:23 AM

Kiwiblogs creator and campaign manager for the National Party in Wellington City Mr David Farrar replies to Mr Brown.

Russell - the number of people who have authorised access to the Leader's e-mail is (or was) incredibly small and beyond reproach. Sometimes sources are blurred somewhat. It may still be someone connected to National, but perhaps they borrowed a laptop which had the email on it or something. The suggestion this is a high level person who leaked it - I am 99.9999% certain it would not be the case.

Posted by David Farrar at August 28, 2005 12:01 PM


Rob Hosking looks at the media implications of the story in his post

A note on the use of anonymous sources: it's quite legit, but should not be undertaken lightly. There's three broad questions the journalist needs to answer: 1. Is the source is trustworthy (and, because they are requesting anonymity, the standard of proof needs to be higher than for a named source) ;

2. Can the informaitn(sic) be obtained some other way; and 3. is the story is of sufficient public interest. The issue of whether they have an agenda is largely irrelevant, except in so far as it may affect the first question. All sources, named or unnamed, have an agenda. It's a fact of life. In this case, I'd suggest (1) and (2) are met for the SST story, but only part of the story meets (3).

Posted by Rob Hosking at August 28, 2005 09:32 PM


A poster by using the pseudonym Dim gives his theories on the leaking

Getting back to the subject matter at hand . . .

It's interesting that all the emails that have been released deal with the period dating to the Brash coup. It's likely that there's loads of potentially embarrasing stuff in the opposition leaders e-mail (ditto for the PM), so why do the SST only have material dating back to this period?

The obvious answer (to me) is that some party apparatchik loyal to Bill English was given their notice shortly after the coup and decided to print out all of Brashs mail before they left. They've sat on it since then and released it at an embarrasing time for their ex-employer.

I imagine that person is still a member of the National Party (I find it unlikely that the SST would deliberately lie about their source) but no longer a terribly important or prominent player.

Posted by dim at August 29, 2005 09:48 AM

Aaron Bhatnagar

Former ACT party stalwart and now dedicated National Party supporter Aaron Bhatnagar gives his two cents worth via his internet diary -

The story extensively quotes ACT people and allies of ACT like Roger Douglas, Brian Nicolle, Ruth Richardson etc, but does not seem to quote National party people. So how is it that a story that benefits ACT would be leaked by someone purportedly from the wet side of National? Who in National would want to start a story that gives a sympathy message to ACT?

It is ACT who benefits from this story. Unless Brash gave his emails to other people, then its pretty hard to see a leak coming from National's side.

The busy Mr Rob Hosking's makes his way over to Mr Bhatnagar's blogspot and gives some more thoughts on the controversy and the media's role in it.

Can't see how it helps Act - or the centre right generally. I've blogged more extensively on this, but briefly: the main beneficiaries are the Left, and those within National who feel excluded by the current leadership and don't want a win this time.

That exclusion may not necessarily be on ideological grounds. Ideology is over-rated as a political motivator, particuarly by Bloggers

My money is on some seriously disaffected current or ex-Nat. Probably not someone obvious: one of the ways journalists protect anonymous sources is by pointing the story away from them.
Rob Hosking | Homepage | 08.29.05 -

Closing off the thread Mr Bhatnagar appears to have light-heartedly dobbed himself in as the source of the leak.


I went and voted for myself, although I take pains to stress that I am but a mere minnow in the Mt Roskill campaign and had nothing to do with either sending or receiving such emails. For what its worth, had I been close to the action, I would have told Brash to ignore everything that Roger Douglas said.

I'd just as soon take a light hearted approach to this matter and get back onto the main campaign issues, as Craig Ranapia wisely stressed earlier.
Aaron Bhatnagar | Homepage | 08.29.05 - 9:26 am | #

No Right Turn

Left leaning blog spot No Right Turn examines Dr Brash's previous enthusiasm for neo-liberal economic politics and specualtes on where the leak may have come from

During the 90's, Brash was an enthusiastic and vocal defender of extreme neo-liberalism. He shared these people's ideology. Their support for his leadership bid really does call into question how much of his recent move to the center can be taken at face value - and how much of it is just a regurgitation of his predecessor's politics of deceit, a practical example of his belief in a moral obligation to lie.

A second interesting aspect is who is leaking this. The SST says that the documents came from "a National Party source", and there's no real reason to doubt it.

While many of the emails could have been sourced from their sender as well as their recipient, that's an awful lot of people, many without clear motivation to reveal their role. That, and the fact that copies of his caucus speeches have also been leaked, points to a National party source - and likely someone fairly senior (they'd have to be, to get their hands on this stuff).

This just screams internal sabotage by someone wanting to preserve their chances of becoming Prime Minister in 2008 - which in turn begs the question of why the electorate should vote for National, when people within the party clearly do not want it to win.

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